When we think of voguing, Madonna's 1990 hit song and music video are the first things that come to mind. But before the Material Girl appropriated the moves, voguing was a dance style mainly performed by queer and transgender people of color.
In a new ad, Nike depicts the dance movement in its original form and highlights Leiomy Maldonado, the Wonder Woman of vogue. Maldonado, the first transgender woman on MTV’s America’s Best Dance Crew, is kind of a big deal. You know that hair flip Beyoncé perfected? It was actually created by Maldonado and is known as the Leiomy Lolly hair flip. Check it out:
Narrated by Precious Angel Ramirez, Nike's new ad is reminiscent of Beyoncé's Lemonade and features dancers from Edna Karr High School’s marching band.
The marching band's dance moves are followed by Maldonado voguing in a dance studio, both on her own and accompanied by other dancers. The ad also features her performing the killer moves on city streets and at a ball.
As Ramirez narrates, Maldonado performs a signature "drop" move that creates the illusion she's violently falling to the ground. Not only does the video showcase Maldonado's extraordinary athletic abilities, but it sends a powerful message of self-acceptance within the queer community.
The ad pays homage to New York City's underground "ballroom scene," a community that was created by impoverished Black and Latino LGBTQ youth as a space to safely express themselves and perfect their dance moves.
Nike's ad is a must watch and it sends a powerful message for Pride Month and beyond.